Documents to download

The main UK legislation is consolidated in the Equality Act 2010, but much of the law as it relates to the treatment of disabled passengers and the services they can expect derives from various EU legislative instruments.

The UK is rapidly approaching the point where all buses, coaches and trains must be accessible to disabled people (January 2020) and in many cases these vehicles already meet the requirements. Taxis are also accessible in many parts of the country, though non-metropolitan urban areas and rural areas lag somewhat behind. There are also duties on air travel and sea travel providers to ensure that disabled people can access their services and expect a certain level of accommodation to their needs, though they can be denied travel on safety grounds.

Many day-to-day problems for disabled people stem from confusion over the rules, poor or insufficient communication, inadequate training, and/or a lack of enforcement. Issues where these concerns overlap include the provision of assistance on vehicles and at stations; the carriage of mobility scooters; and buggies and prams using wheelchair spaces on buses.

In August 2017 the Government published a draft Transport Accessibility Action Plan for consultation; followed in July 2018 by its Inclusive Transport Strategy, setting out how it wants the transport industry to move forwards in improving accessibility and how it intends to help the industry achieve this. It includes a number of actions to be achieved between 2018 and 2020.

There are a number of organisations working to improve transport provision for disabled people and seeking to influence government policy. The Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS) can provide expert information, advice and support on discrimination and human rights issues and the applicable law.

Information on other transport issues affecting disabled people, such as the Blue Badge parking scheme and the Motability vehicle scheme, can be found on the Transport Briefings Page of the Parliament website.


Documents to download

Related posts

  • This paper provides an overview of the current rail system, including how it is delivered and how it performed and was financed up until the spring of 2020 when the UK locked down in response to the global coronavirus pandemic. It explains the impact of the pandemic on services and funding and sets out reforms to rail passenger services (franchises) as a result of the pandemic. The final section discusses the Williams Rail Review, initiated in 2018 and yet to report publicly, setting out the emerging conclusions and key questions to be answered.

  • This briefing paper considers the current status of humanist marriage ceremonies across the United Kingdom and Law Commission proposals for reforming the law relating to getting married in England and Wales